Below is an adapted article that discusses beneficial bacteria products for lakes. The original article can be found on our blog. (Link is in menu bar at top of page)
Monthly Lake Management
Farm ponds, Private lakes, Golf course ponds, and Public lakes in the Greater Pittsburgh PA area can benefit greatly from our Monthly Lake Management Plan.
Keeping track of changes to your pond or lake is crucial to its success. By implementing our Monthly Lake Management Plan you will have the peace of mind knowing that our Lake Management Specialist is frequently visiting your water. While on site, we take note of any visible changes in the conditions of your water and its surroundings. We also add recommended doses of beneficial bacteria and/or herbicides.
We recommend and use "Natural Lake Products by Aquatic Edge" for our monthly lake management clients.
Pond problems are much easier - and often cheaper - to fix when they are small. If a problem is allowed to go undetected for a longer period of time (invasive plants, for example), it can be exponentially harder to correct.
Pricing for Monthly Maintenance Plans varies by each property. Variables that contribute to price include size of pond/lake, condition of pond/lake, and desired goals and outcomes. Every body of water is different, so each Monthly Maintenance Plan is customized for maximum effectiveness based on the property owner’s goals and the lake’s characteristics.
Sales of "Natural Lake Products" lake treatments help support the Love Your Lake Fund. Click above for more info.
Lake Treatment Products – Beneficial Bacteria Helps Maintain Your Pond or Lake
There are many products we offer, each with a special purpose. And they are all made with the highest concentrations of active cultures, stimulants, and trace elements to ensure maximum success.
What is beneficial bacteria? What does it do?
You might be taken aback by the word “bacteria”. The word is typically used in reference to bad things like diseases and infections. But, just as there are bad bacteria that make us sick, there are also beneficial bacteria that help us fight disease and aid in our daily processes. Think about yogurt, which is basically a stew of beneficial bacteria cultures that aids in digestion.
So back to ponds here….the beneficial bacteria that live in ponds and lakes help to clean the water and lake bottom of organic waste and debris. These little microscopic “good guys” work to break down dead plants, leaves, fish waste and other organic material. All lakes and ponds have some beneficial bacteria populations, but almost never enough to keep up with the incoming load of seasonal plant cycles and falling tree leaves. By adding regular doses of beneficial bacteria treatments, you are giving your pond a chance at fighting the process of eutrophication (the pond aging process).
Is all beneficial bacteria the same?
Not at all! Some beneficial bacteria works better under certain conditions, such as in the presence or absence of oxygen and sunlight. Also, some bacteria strains are more efficient at breaking down certain types of compounds, which explains why there are different products designed with particular uses. For instance, our product “Muck Monster” is designed as a sinking pellet because the strains of bacteria contained within the pellets are particularly good at consuming the muck on the bottom. Conversely, our product “Clearwater” is designed as a powder contained within a water-soluble packet, which means the packet dissolves in water and slowly releases the bacteria throughout the water column – which is where these bacteria strains do their best work. Our product “Polar Vortex” looks and acts just like “Clearwater”, however “Polar Vortex” is comprised of coldwater-thriving strains of bacteria. (Remember – EVERY pond is different. Some ponds need “Muck Monster”, some would benefit better from “Clearwater”, and some can actually use both!)
What are bacterial enzymes?
You can think of enzymes as being like your saliva. Your mouth produces saliva to begin the process of breaking down your food. Bacteria secrete enzymes, which dissolve outer tissues of leaves and organic matter in order for bacteria to consume the sugars and nutrients within. Our product “Breakdown Booster” is a very highly concentrated mix of bacterial enzymes. Enzymes aren’t really “alive” like bacteria, which means you can mix “Breakdown Booster” with any type of herbicide, and all algecides with the exception of peroxide-based products. (If you’re using a peroxide-based algecide, simply wait an hour before applying “Breakdown Booster”.)
Bacterial enzyme treatments are extremely versatile. Mix with herbicides for greater efficacy and penetration, spray directly on the surface of the water during autumn leaf-drop and in spring during heavy pollen accumulation, and even use as a monthly maintenance dose to keep your lake looking great. This treatment can be used at any time of year regardless of temperature – although it is most effective in warmer water when natural bacterial activity is higher.
Is there anything that helps bacteria work faster?
Absolutely – OXYGEN. Most beneficial bacteria products are comprised mostly or entirely of aerobic bacteria strains (they use oxygen when working). So it goes to say that if you throw muck-eating bacteria pellets into twenty feet of water, you’re not going to get much of a result. (Because there is typically no oxygen on the bottom of a lake at twenty feet of depth).
There is one great way to fix this problem, and that is with diffused aeration. (Follow the link to learn about aeration if you need.) When a properly sized and installed aeration system is utilized, oxygen gets transferred to all parts of a lake. This means that even the mucky bottom in twenty feet of water is a welcoming habitat to aerobic bacteria, and the entire lake essentially becomes a beneficial bacteria breeding ground. Is it still a great idea to add bacteria treatments even when aeration is utilized? You bet!! Think of it this way – Bacteria break down organic material….Oxygen significantly speeds up the bacteria process….. If you walk to work, you get to work – slowly, but you get there. If you drive a car to work, you get to work – but you had time to stop for coffee and still arrived 15 minutes early. Each mechanism will get you results, but there is clearly an advantage to having the ideal combination.
I don’t want to use herbicides to control weed growth this season. What can I do to help now?
One of the most economical products you can use to decrease the growth rate of aquatic plants and algae is “Ultra Pond Dye”. One quart ($33 retail) is enough to treat an entire acre of water up to six feet deep. Simply by pouring directly into the water, the dye will spread out on its own within 24 hours to add a rich shade of blue, black, or navy blue to the entire pond. This darkens the water, shades the deeper depths from sunlight, so that plants and algae don’t get the full amount of sun spectrum rays they need to thrive.
I have seen dye applications last as long as three months during dry weather. However the average length of time before re-application is needed is around one month. Dyes are completely harmless, and even add a nice aesthetic color to the water. “Ultra Pond Dye” breaks down over time in sunlight and leaves no lasting compounds or by-products. Application typically is based on the amount of local rainfall, when incoming fresh water dilutes the concentration of the dye. The best way to get great results with any dye is to keep the water colored 12 months a year, and reapply as often as needed to maintain a rich color. When you don’t give the plants and algae any opportunity to take off, you can keep them in check all season long.